I shall be eternally grateful to Private Eye magazine and, I suspect, Peter Cook for the wonderful term ” pseud “. I saw it in the 1970’s in descriptions that were applied to London literati and artistic frauds and I have loved it ever since. Like ” jobsworth ” it encapsulated an entire personality and behavior pattern in one word. And the word was not obscene…it could be spoken at the vicar’s dinner table.
I met many of them in the dental racket and even more in the camera trade. They were mostly suited, sometimes booted, and all firmly rooted in the sense of their own superiority. It was painful to be close to them since it meant that you could hear them. The only remedy was distance – if you could not achieve it physically you had to do it inside your mind. I suspect it is the sort of thing that gave rise to the great patient teachers of eastern religion.
Retirement and avoidance of the television has removed me from most of these creatures, but they still do creep in through Facebook feeds. I’m generally cautious – I reject most ‘shares’ as unsolicited introduction – but occasionally one sneaks through. Recently it was a pair of extremely hip stirs discussing a child’s animated movie. As it was a title that had attracted me, I watched their discussion.
They didn’t like it. It had no humour for them as the animated characters did not behave realistically enough. The polo shirt man and the ponytail man were scathing about the failed opportunity for communication…in a motion picture that was intended for kids.
Well, I took the wife and the grown-up daughter to it that night. and we sat in a cinema with a whole bunch of other adults that are allowed to stay up after 8:00PM and we laughed our pants off for 90 minutes. The thing was about the secret life of pets and the colouring was intense – as befits a cartoon – but gorgeous. The animated landscape was delightful. The characterisation of the pets was hilarious and just about perfect for our cat. They have been watching our cat. I wish they would take our cat.
So, I may seek out the SBS pseuds again in the future. They’re a good indicator of artistic taste. Like a signpost on the way to fun. Oh, they point the other way, mind, but that’s as useful as anything if you know which way to turn…